YOK toJ]ffiBOjLDT- 320
speedier intelligence of Alexander YOU Humboldt,
whose return was anxiously anticipated.
Humboldt had received a letter from Havanna, from
Ms brother, announcing his approaching return., but
soon afterwards the report was spread that the cele-
brated traveller had died of the yellow fever, when
he was on the point of embarkation. It now hap-
pened that Madame von Humboldt was in PariSj
when Alexander, with all his treasures, entered the
Garonne, in August, 1804 As soon as the news of
this happy event arrived in Paris, the sister-in-law
was at once informed of it by the secretary of the
National Institute. Alexander hastened from Bor-
deaux to Paris, delighted to meet here a member
of his family whom he had not anticipated seeing
till the commencement of the following year in
Madame von Humboldt5 after another confinement
in the autumn of 1804-, left Paris in the spring of
1805, and with renewed strength joined her husband,
who had, in the mean time, spent a happy summer,
devoted to solitude and study, in his retreat of Albano.
The new comer was a boy, and was named Gustavus?
but died after a few years, in 18073 in Rome. Both
sons are buried at the foot of the Cestius pyramid,
the well-known burial place of protestants in Rome;
but they lie in an inclosure presented by the Roman
people to this family, Twa broken antique pillars
designate the spot where the children rest.
The year 1805 was the finest which the family
spent in Rome ; not only that a great number of
distinguished men were living in it during this period,
but in spring Alexander arrived on a lengthened
visit to his brother.
The six years which "William spent in Rome, were,
in reality, also years of leisure, for the official business
lie had undertaken occupied him but little. Schiller
had feared it, but Humboldt assured him that this
was not the case ; that he lived as before, even if he